KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa’s turkey hunting season opens soon, tens of thousands of hunters expected

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Turkey hunting season starts this next weekend (April 4th) for youth in Iowa and the season opens on April 13th for adults. Jim Coffee, a forest wildlife research technician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, based in Chariton, says last year’s turkey season was tremendously popular. “We had about 50,000 people that went out in the woods to hear that spring gobble and over 11,000 of them were successful,” Coffee says. “That’s a pretty good success rate, when you look at the wariness of a species like this.”

Coffee offers a few tips for Iowa turkey hunters. “The biggest thing is to be prepared which begins a lot with the mental aspect of getting ourselves up early, thinking about things, always making sure your weapon is in good shape,” Coffee says. “I always emphasize understanding the biology of the bird. If we understand that animal, what it wants to do and when it wants to do it, it helps increase our success rate.”

Hunters from all over will be in Iowa, trying to bag a turkey. “We’ve got a great reputation for having big, healthy birds in Iowa,” Coffee says. “We’re going to have a lot of people, obviously, from the state of Iowa hunting but we draw from a lot of other states. Some years, we have as many as 38 other states represented in the hunting population out there.”

Turkeys are found in all 99 Iowa counties and they like to forage in forests, agricultural lands and pasture lands. There is a new application for smartphone users that will be helpful for hunters called the D-N-R Atlas.  “Open it up and it’s an aerial photograph of the entire state that you can zoom right down to literally see a tree that you want to sit underneath of, as well as all of the public lands available in every county,” Coffee says, “and do a lot of scouting right from your chair.”

Find more information about turkey hunting season at www.iowadnr.gov.

Last Chance Private Pesticide Continuing Instructional Course


March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery and Shelby County ISU Extension offices will offer “Last Chance” Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instructional Courses (CIC) for private pesticide applicators on Wednesday, April 15th at the Montgomery County Extension office in Red Oak, and the Shelby County Extension office, in Harlan. The programs are being shown in cooperation with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

In Red Oak, classes begin at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and the course runs for approximately two and a half hours. In Harlan, registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The registration fee at both sites is $20. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the Shelby County ISU Extension and Outreach office by phoning 712-755-3104, or  Jodie Smith at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Montgomery County, at 712-623-2592.

The course will fulfill 2014 recertification requirements for private pesticide applicators. Topics to be covered include: equipment calibration and safe application techniques; pesticide drift reduction; pest management and pesticides; and phytotoxicity.

A listing of additional locations offering this course can be found at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP/.

2014-15 Annual Atlantic FFA Banquet

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 30th, 2015 by Jim Field

2015-16 FFA OfficcersThe 77th Annual FFA Member-Parent Banquet was held in the Atlantic High School commons on March 24, 2015. President Marshal McDermott gave a short welcome and Lexi Freund gave an invocation. After the invocation, the officers and guests ate dinner first, followed by the other members. Before the meal, the banquet had two guest speakers present. Iowa FFA Alumni Representative Steve Dolch, as well as Atlantic FFA Alumni President Dave York spoke to the banquet.

After the meal officer reports were given. The secretary’s report, which was given by Savannah Sorensen. The treasurer’s report was then given by Clayton Saeugling. The FFA also had a third guest speaker, Mike McDermott. Following the speakers, Haley Carlson and Cale Pellett gave the Annual Report of Activities, such as results from the Cass County Fair, National FFA Convention, and multiple FFA events throughout the year.

Adam Freund Star Ag BusinessThe next portion of the FFA banquet was dedicated to chapter awards. FFA Advisor, Eric Miller, gave out the Chapter awards. The first award was the Academic Achievement Award. This is given to FFA members that have a 3.50 GPA or above at the end of the first semester and has been an FFA member for at least 3 years. Senior Adam Freund received the award this year. There were three Star awards that members received. Freshmen Emily Saeugling received the Star Greenhand, senior Savannah Sorensen received the Star Chapter Farmer, and senior Adam Freund earned the Star of Agriculture Business award.

Honorary Chapter Farmers Amber J and Steve JThe Atlantic FFA Chapter chose two people to receive the Honorary Chapter Farmer Award this year. This included Amber Jipsen and Steve Jorgensen, of Farm Service Co-op. The Atlantic FFA Leadership Award is given to a senior who has a superior record of scholarship, leadership, and agricultural work experience; President Marshal McDermott received this award. Following the awards, 19 members of the Atlantic FFA received their Greenhand FFA Degrees while 17 members got their Chapter FFA Degrees. Adam Freund and Savannah Sorensen both received their Iowa FFA Degrees as well, this year. The Emily S Star GreenhandSavannah S Star Farmerannual FFA banquet ended with the 2015-16 officers.

This year’s Atlantic FFA President is junior Clayton Saeugling. After being elected to office, he said, “(Being elected as President) really meant a lot to me. I’ve done so much through FFA and this will be another way for me to be involved with the chapter greatly.” He also commented saying, “I’d like to get more kids to participate in contests.” Vice President is junior Garrett Schwanke, Secretary is junior Haley Carlson, Treasurer is sophomore Lexi Freund, Reporter is freshman Cale Pellett, Sentinel is junior Emily McDermott, and the Student Advisor is sophomore Alexis Boes. The meeting was officially adjourned by newly installed President, Clayton Saeugling, at 8:40 p.m.

Shelby County Fire Danger: “Extreme” now through Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency are requesting participating businesses and fire departments in the County, to place their local “Fire Danger” indicator signs in the EXTREME category, now through Thursday.Extreme Fire Danger

The western half of Iowa is under a Red Flag Warning this afternoon, and officials say they expect the same dangerous conditions to be present for the next days. High wind and low humidity will cause any fires that start to quickly grow out of control.

Extreme conditions mean, absolutely no outdoor burning. Permits need to be completed and signed by a Fire Chief before any controlled burns are executed during extreme conditions. There is a chance of rain Wednesday afternoon, and a better chance Wednesday night, but until rain puts a dent in the dangerous conditions, outdoor burning is prohibited. 

The Atlantic FFA Wall of Fame

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 30th, 2015 by Jim Field

By Haley Carlson
Atlantic FFA Reporter

FFA Wall of FameWith 165 names, the Atlantic FFA Wall of Fame is not complete, but officially up to date. The Wall of Fame is located in the Atlantic High School Ag Room, on the north wall. It has every Atlantic FFA member that has received an Iowa Degree or an American Degree. Iowa Degree blocks are painted blue with the member’s name and the year they received their degree. America Degree blocks are painted yellow, with the member’s name and two years: the Iowa Degree year and American Degree year. This year the Atlantic FFA has two seniors, Adam Freund and Savannah Sorenson, receiving their Iowa Degree in April. Also the four 2014 graduates, Kristin Johnk, Chancey Richards, Wyatt Saeugling, and Tucker Sager, received Iowa Degree and are now working to receive their American Degrees in November.

The project began in early 2014 with Advisor, Eric Miller and senior officers, Kristin Johnk, Wyatt Saeugling, and Tucker Sager beginning the wall project. They started by finding the records all of the degree recipients. The north wall of the ag room was painted completely blue and names and years were attached to each brick. Those who had earned an American Degree had their brick repainted yellow. Saeugling and Sager then took a pencil to create a straight line reference for each name. Johnk along with current members, Haley Carlson, Emily McDermott, Marshal McDermott, Garrett Schwanke, Tyler Petty and non-member Erin Olsen continued the project by stenciling in names during their free time. Over the summer members continued by filling in the stenciling with paint; blue bricks had yellow lettering and yellow bricks had blue lettering. Members, Haley Carlson, Emily McDermott, Aubrey Schwarte, Gabby Jordahl, and Mariah Cook all have been working hard on the wall in the 2014-15 school year. Over spring break, Haley Carlson along with her sister, Hannah, and sophomore Gabby Jordahl completed the painting and removal of pencil lines from the wall. The Atlantic FFA Wall of Fame looks fantastic and the chapter is very thankful to all of those who have dedicated their volunteer time to this project. This wall will continue and impact the lives of Atlantic FFA members for years to come.

Freshman, Blake Pelzer gave his thoughts about being on the wall of fame, “I do want to have my name on the wall because having that is a big accomplishment. I think it (the wall) is good because it makes you feel noticed.”

Emily McDermott said, “The project was fun and it took a lot of time, but the wall is finally complete and it looks great!”

Junior, Erin Olsen is not a current FFA member but a part of Mr. Miller’s home room class. Olsen said, “I just did it cause I wanted to help out and it was something that looked fun to do in my free time.”

Kristin Johnk commented, “It took a lot of patience to work on it but in the end, it is a great way to honor those who have put hard work and dedication into their SAEs in order to get these degrees as well as those who still support this great organization (FFA). It is a great feeling to have my name among those who have achieved their Iowa Degree and hopefully be one of the elite members of the chapter to get my American Degree as well!”

Dale M BrickDale Myers is the very first name on the wall of fame. He received his Iowa Degree in 1952. Dale commented that while in FFA they were not as involved as the chapters are now a days. He worked with cattle and hogs while he was in FFA. Dale had four years of vocational ag instruction with two different advisors during his time in the FFA organization.

To earn a spot on the Wall of Fame you must first earn the Iowa FFA Degree.

Iowa Degree requirements include: received the Chapter FFA Degree, been an active FFA member for at least two years, have completed at least two years of Agriculture Education classes of above the ninth grade level, which includes a supervised agricultural experience program, earned and productively invested at least $1,000, or worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time, or a combination, in a supervised agricultural experience program, participated in at least 25 hours of community service activities in two different community service activities, performed ten procedures of parliamentary law, given a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or the FFA, served as an officer, committee chairperson, or a participating member of a chapter committee, have a satisfactory scholastic record, participated in the planning and completion of chapter Program of Activities, and participated in at least five approved FFA activities above the chapter level.

American Degree requirements are: to earn at least $10,000 and invested $7,500 or have earned and invested at least $2,000 and have worked 2,250 unpaid hours outside of the classroom, have outstanding leadership skills, have completed at the minimum, 50 community service hours in three different service activities, and maintained a “C” average grade or better in school. Atlantic FFA Advisor Eric Miller commented, “The Wall of Fame is a unique way to recognize the hard work of past FFA members. It is also a motivation for our current members. They see friends and family on the wall and want to achieve this honor.”

The Atlantic FFA will hold their annual banquet on Tuesday, March 24, at the Atlantic High School. The banquet will include a meal along with a review of all activities during the year, awards and degrees, and the installation of the new officer team.

In a final note this will be my last article serving as the 2014-15 Atlantic FFA Reporter. It has been a lot of fun writing about our chapter and seeing the involvement grow. I have loved hearing the community respond to my articles and I can’t wait to see what the new reporter does for our chapter. -Haley Carlson, Atlantic FFA Reporter.

Conservation Report 03-28-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 28th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Host Bob Bebensee and Brian Smith, Conservation Officer for Cass and Adair Counties.


Dairy farms asked to consider breeding no-horn cows


March 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that bothers activists but is little known to consumers. Horned calves are common in dairy herds and farms routinely remove the horn buds by burning or gouging them out before horns develop. Horns are hazardous because unruly cows can gore farm workers or other animals.

General Mills, Nestle, Denny’s are among companies pushing increased breeding of cows born without horns — called polled cattle. PETA says it’s made progress over three years with several major dairies incorporating polled genetics to eliminate dehorning.

The National Milk Producers Federation says breeding hornless dairy cows is worth exploring but that the industry believes removing the horn buds is a safe and “minimally disruptive, uncomfortable process.”


Deadline Approaching for Grants to Support Local Garden Projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Spring is the time to plan and plant your gardens. With that in mind, the Cass County Master Gardeners group reminds you that they are again offering grant money to be used in the 2015 growing season, to encourage gardening to grow food and/or beautify local communities. The deadline to apply for the funds is next Monday, March 30th. Master Gardner

The grant monies may be used for gardening education purposes in addition to growing food and beautification purposes. The David Williams Master Gardener Grants are offered to honor the many years of service Master Gardener David Williams provided as a long-time volunteer, with the Master Gardener program and other community organizations, including a term as Cass County Master Gardener president in 2012.

Any Cass County not-for-profit group or individual may apply. Schools, churches, libraries, 4-H clubs, Scouts, and individuals working to improving their communities can use the money to begin or improve gardens or landscaping, or to provide education for their members or the public. To ensure the money is helping a wide variety of community organizations, groups who were funded by 2014 grants will not be eligible to apply in 2015. Each grant has a maximum value of $300. The application must also include plans for teamwork and sustainability. Consideration for the environment is also an important selection factor.

Once again, applications must be received by Monday, March 30th for consideration. They may be submitted by mail or email. Grant recipients will be informed of their selection by the end of April. For more information, or with questions, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic. You may also contact committee members Judy Kennedy, Marla Anstey or Linda Edelman. Application forms can be picked up at the Extension Office, or printed from the Cass County Extension website www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate” through the weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says the Fire Danger Index will remain in the “Moderate” category, through next Monday. Officials say if you have a large burn, please notify your Fire Chief, prior to ignition. If you call the Emergency Mgmt. Agency at 712-755-2124 for assistance, if needed. Moderate Fire Danger rating

The EMA says you should “Always have a plan, Never leave a burning pile unattended , be aware of the direction and speed of the wind, and avoid smoking out neighbors or those who may have respiratory problems.”

Emergency Manager Bob Seivert says they expect the fire danger conditions to worsen next week.

USDA Report 03-26-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin